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Solonar Tables

The quest to determine the best times to hunt and fish is not a recent project. For hundreds of years people that made their living hunting and fishing recognized that there were certain times when wildlife was more abundant. The lives of most Native Americans were completely dependent on knowing the best times to hunt and fish. People who base their existence on the ocean or lakes have long understood that solar and lunar influences help determine the best times to fish. Market hunters in the 1800s recognized that they were more successful hunting with the moon overhead or underfoot as well as during certain moon phases. Often without knowing the exact cause of their success, they recorded the dates and times of this increased wildlife activity. By using these records, which became the earliest best time to hunt and fish charts or solunar tables, they became even more successful.

Much credit should be given to John Alden Knight for his early research and pioneering of solar and lunar influences. In 1926 Knight began his studies of various influences that affect wildlife activity. This research resulted in his publishing tables in 1936 that illustrated periods in each day of major activity and minor activity. Others have subsequently developed similar lunar tables, solunar tables or astro tables to predict wildlife activity.

Today what is generally known and accepted is that fish and game are more active at certain times of the day based on two major "solar triggers", dawn and dusk. With some animals dawn triggers the start of their daily activity. With others, dusk signals the start of their daily activity. Most traditional moon charts, solunar tables or astro tables fail to recognize these significant differences. Without consideration to these game specific solar tendencies, any chart or table that forecasts wildlife feeding activity is seriously flawed.

Since John Alden Knight's publication in 1936, the most significant improvement in our understanding of influences on wildlife activity has come with the more recent computer capability to calculate the combined effect of solar and lunar influences. Comparing the dates and times of these combined influences to actual wildlife activity has shown that there are definitely certain times and days with significantly increased activity. Research has shown that there are certain times that you are three times more likely to see game or fish than during other times.

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